FIFA Women's World Rankings

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Top 20 Rankings as of 18 December 2015[1]
Rank Change Team Points
1 Steady  United States 2180
2 Steady  Germany 2104
3 Steady  France 2078
4 Steady  Japan 2045
5 Steady  England 2041
6 Steady  North Korea 1993
7 Steady  Brazil 1977
8 Steady  Sweden 1973
9 Steady  Australia 1964
10 Steady  Norway 1935
11 Steady  Canada 1928
12 Steady  Netherlands 1925
13 Steady  Italy 1859
14 Increase 4  Spain 1854
15 Decrease 1  Denmark 1849
16 Steady  New Zealand 1846
17 Decrease 2  China PR 1844
18 Decrease 1  South Korea 1833
19 Steady  Iceland 1821
20 Increase 1   Switzerland 1816
Complete rankings at Fifa.com

The FIFA Women's World Rankings for football were introduced in 2003,[2] with the first rankings published in March of that year, as a follow-on to the existing FIFA World Rankings for men. They attempt to compare the strength of internationally active women's national teams at any given time.

Specifics of the ranking system[edit]

  • FIFA Women's World Rankings are based on every international match a team ever played, dating back to 1971, the first FIFA-recognized women's international between France and the Netherlands. (The men's ranking system considers only matches in the last four years.)
  • FIFA Women's World Rankings are implicitly weighted to emphasize recent results. (The men's results are explicitly weighted on a sliding scale.)
  • FIFA Women's World Rankings are only published four times a year. Normally, rankings are released in March, June, September and December. (In World Cup years, dates may be adjusted to reflect the World Cup results.)

The first two points result in a FIFA Women's World Rankings system which is far more similar to the Elo football rating system. FIFA considers the ratings for teams with fewer than 5 matches provisional and at the end of the list. Also any team that plays no matches for 18 months becomes unranked.

Leaders[edit]

FIFA Women's
World Ranking leaders

To date Germany and the United States have been the only two teams to have led the rankings. They have also held the top two spots in all but four releases, when Germany was ranked third: Norway was in second position in the first two rankings until Germany overtook them by winning the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, and Brazil was ranked second in March and June 2009 until Germany won 2009 Euro and rejoined the top two. No other team has managed to enter the top 2 since then.

The United States holds the record for the longest period being ranked first: almost 7 years, from March 2008 to December 2014.

Ranking procedure[edit]

The rankings are based on the following formulae:[2]

R_{aft} = R_{bef} + K (S_{act} - S_{exp})
S_{exp} =  \frac{1}{1 + 10^{-x/2}}
x = \frac{R_{bef} - O_{bef} \pm H}{c}

Where

R_{aft} = The team rating after the match
R_{bef} = The team rating before the match
K = 15 M, the weighted importance of the match
S_{act} = The actual result of the match, see below
S_{exp} = The expected result of the match
x = The scaled difference in rating points between the teams
O_{bef} = The opposing team's rating before the match
H = The "home advantage" correction, see below
c = A scaling factor, see below
M = The "Match Importance Factor", see below

These formulae are designed such that beginning teams can expect a ranking of roughly 1000 points, while top-level teams can exceed 2000 points. In order to be ranked, a team must have played at least 5 matches against officially ranked teams, and have not been inactive for more than 18 months. Even if teams are not officially ranked, their points rating is kept constant.

Actual result of the match[edit]

The main component of the actual result is whether the team wins, loses, or draws, but goal difference is also taken into account.

If the match results in a winner and loser, the loser is awarded a percentage given by the accompanying table, with the result always less than or equal to 20% (for goal differences greater than zero). The result is based on the goal difference and the number of goals they scored. The remaining percentage points are awarded to the winner. For example, a 2–1 match has the result awarded 84%–16% respectively, a 4–3 match has the result awarded 82%–18%, and an 8–3 match has the result awarded 96.2%–3.8%. As such, it is possible for a team to lose points even if they win a match, assuming they did not "win by enough".

If the match ends in a draw the teams are awarded the same result, but the number depends on the goals scored so the results will not necessarily add up to 100%. For example, a 0–0 draws earns both teams 47% each, a 1–1 draw earns 50% each, and a 4–4 draw earns 52.5% each.[2]

Actual result table (from a non-winning perspective)[edit]

Goal Difference
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 /+
Goals scored Actual result (percentage)
0 47 15 8 4 3 2 1
1 50 16 8.9 4.8 3.7 2.6 1.5
2 51 17 9.8 5.6 4.4 3.2 2
3 52 18 10.7 6.4 5.1 3.8 2.5
4 52.5 19 11.6 7.2 5.8 4.4 3
5 53 20 12.5 8 6.5 5 3.5

Source[2]

Neutral ground or Home vs. Away[edit]

Historically, home teams earn 66% of the points available to them, with away teams earning the other 34%. To account for this, when two teams are not playing on neutral ground, the home team has its R_{bef} inflated by 100 points for the purposes of calculation. That is, if two equally ranked teams playing at one team's home ground, the home team would be expected to win at the same rate a team playing on neutral ground with a 100-point advantage. This 100 point difference corresponds to a 64%–36% advantage in terms of expected result.

This also helps define the scaling constant c, which has a value of 200. In addition to a 100-point difference causing an expected result difference of 64%–36%, it also results in a 300-point difference causing expected results of 85%–15%.[2]

Importance of the match[edit]

Match importance Match importance
factor (M)
K-value
FIFA Women's World Cup match 4 60
Women's Olympic football tournament 4 60
FIFA Women's World Cup qualifier 3 45
Women's Olympic football qualifier 3 45
Women's Continental finals match 3 45
Women's Continental qualifier 2 30
Women's friendly match between two Top 10 teams 2 30
Women's friendly match 1 15

Ranking schedule[edit]

Rankings are published four times a year, usually on a Friday.[3]

2016 Rankings schedule
Release date
25 March
24 June
26 August
23 December

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "FIFA Women's World Ranking". FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). 18 December 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Fact Sheet, FIFA Women's World Ranking" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-08. 
  3. ^ "Women's Ranking Procedure". FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. FIFA. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 

External links[edit]